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Windows 7: Lazy man's question about file copying

17 Feb 2016   #1

Lazy man's question about file copying

Just finished setting up a new W7 system and I want to selectively copy a large number of Word docs.

My new system's main drive is a 240Gb SSD (which I'm trying to keep uncluttered) and I've mounted three other regular SATA HDDs that contain archived collections of documents.

An 'Everything' search of my system reveals around 30,000 Word docs that are stored on the three support drives.

Many docs are duplicates. For example, because of past backups, and subsequent backups of backups, there might be 4 or 5 copies of file 'XYZ.doc' in these archives.

My aim is to locate just ONE copy of each duplicated doc and copy it to a new folder on my SSD.

Question: Does anyone know of software that could make this process as simple as possible?

Obviously, I can manually locate the files with 'Everything' or Windows search, but I don't want to have to deal with every file individually. Even if there are 5 duplicates of each file, there are still 6,000 files to locate and copy.

Hey, what I'm asking might be impossible, but if you don't ask, you don't get

My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2016   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I'm not sure you can do what you want in only one step.

One approach would be to copy all the files from your various folders into one folder (on one of your support drives) and then run a duplicate finder program to keep only one copy.

Another is to use a program such as SyncBack to copy the various folder contents, one folder at a time, into the receiving folder, which should result in only one copy of each unique file name.

I use SyncBack quite often and it is relatively easy to use. I think this approach would probably be quicker than the first.

Good luck.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2016   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

Here's what I've done in a similar situation.

I had 25,000 mp3s scattered across hundreds of artist subfolders. I wanted to get them all into one folder---mixing the Johnny Cash in with the Elvis and Sinatra, with NO subfolders at all.

I used the Everything search engine, which you already have. There are other ways, but it's the quickest method I've found.

Here's what I think should work in your case--you may have to modify it, but you'll get the idea:

Make a folder called "temp" on some drive that has enough free space to hold all of these files, including the duplicates.

Open Everything and do a search for .doc. I assume this will bring up 100% of your desired Word documents, including all the duplicates.

Highlight all of them in the Everything results window. Right click the highlighted files and choose "copy".

Navigate to the "temp" folder, right click and choose "paste". All of those files you copied in the Everything results will be copied into this folder, without any subfolders. It might appear to stall, but give it time. It might take 10 minutes or an hour or more, but the files should copy.

All files with distinct names are copied and at the end of that process you are asked if you want to overwrite those with the same names. You say, NO, copy and retain both files. The file shown earliest in the Everything list will retain its original name and the others later in the list with identical names will be named with (2), (3), etc extensions.

You'll end up with file names like xyz.doc, with the duplicates named xyz(1).doc, xyz(2).doc, xyz(3).doc and so forth.

You'd then want to keep only those without the parenthetical ending on the file name--deleting all the dupes. Leaving only xyz.doc.

You could do that with a dupe file finder or through the command line. The command line would be quickest. Navigate to the temp folder and enter a command such as "del *(1).doc". Then "del *(2).doc", etc until only those that had no parentheses remain.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

17 Feb 2016   #4


br4, thanks, excellent advice.

Re SyncBack, I haven't heard of that, but I'll check it out.

Your first suggestion sounds best, I have Duplicate File Finder somewhere in my archives.

But as I type this, a possible glitch occurs to me. Or maybe it's a possible advantage...

It's this: I wouldn't be able to copy all of those 30,000 docs into one folder, because Windows wouldn't allow the duplicates to exist alongside each other. Does that sound right? Or am I overlooking something obvious?

Edit: Oops, didn't see your post, ignatzatsonic. Thanks, also. I'll give that some thought today.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Feb 2016   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1

I am not sure if this is what IGNAT said above but if you copy files from one source to another, Windows will ask "If you want to Overwrite or Keep Duplicates" and if you want to do this every time. Just check the Overwrite and it will do it every time and should be easy.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2016   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

The 'copy and paste' approach will certainly work, but then you'll have to remove the duplicate files.

Using SyncBack will result in only one copy for each unique file name, each being the latest modified time.

Let me know if I can help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2016   #7


br4: Are you using SyncBack free or Pro?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2016   #8

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

I'm using SyncBack Free; the Portable version. I only use installed software if a Portable version is not available.

Here's a link to the SyncBack downloads if you want to check it out (they call Portable No Install):
Running SyncBack from an external storage device – 2BrightSparks Help and Support
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2016   #9


Thanks, br4. Ok, I have a copy of portable.

How do I use it to selectively copy my docs?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Feb 2016   #10

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

In SyncBack you'll be creating one or more profiles, depending how you want to do the copying, and how the files are stored on the drives (folder-wise).

Since you have files on three drives, I'd recommend creating three profiles, one for each drive. Within each profile you can set up a filter to copy only .docx files.

You can create one profile for each separate sourcing folder, or have it a a higher level. The higher the level, the more files SB has to go through, but that might not be an issue.

Be sure to create a new folder for the resulting copied files. SB does not delete any of the copied files, so nothing to worry about there.

I recommend you message me with any questions and I'll be happy to help.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Lazy man's question about file copying

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